While the past few months have indeed slipped by me (apparently unnoticed, by the state of this blog), this year I was reawakened from my foodie coma by Pi(e) Day. I have still gone through Tastespotting and Food Gawker daily, if not every other day, and appreciated and tagged recipes I’d like to make – but there’s been no making. Sure, we’ve cooked since the last time I posted, and enjoyed it, but I haven’t really catalogued anything via the Internet. I feel you deserve an explanation, so I’ll be brief:
Since the last time I posted, I got a new job – and resigned, and now I’m an at-home housewife, which I do thoroughly enjoy even if it doesn’t pay well. Cullen got a new position, allowing us to enjoy being a real married couple instead of two people living in the same house and passing in the breeze. I’ve watched a lot of Netflix with him, mostly Deadwood. We still don’t have continuous Internet, just an aircard, so it makes things a little more difficult in terms of posting and pictures. Speaking of pictures, I don’t have a camera anymore. It’s somewhere in the house – supposedly on top of the refrigerator, but I have yet to find it. Oh, and we got a German Shepherd who is convinced she is the Queen of the House, which is totally not true, because I’m Queen of the House.
So, my life has changed and rotated and now my desire to cook and connect has returned. (If you follow me on Twitter, you might have noticed my quiet reemergence.) And so, Pi(e) Day. Unfortunately, I didn’t get this posted on Pi(e) Day because… well, we were landscaping the in-laws’ flowerbeds for them, and by the time we got home and everything got settled, with the addition of Daylight Savings Time (ugh), I was too wiped to do much of anything besides watch a few episodes of Deadwood, season two. But I was determined to honor Pi(e) Day, and even with more than one pie – quiche and a pie.
If you count quiche as pie (it’s a tart, which is pie in my book), then there are two incarnations of the treat for Pi(e) Day 2010. Mini spinach quiches and French silk pie. I’ve intended to make the mini-quiches for a couple of weeks — ask the husband; he’ll tell you — for his breakfasts to take to school. This is my assurance that real men do eat quiche and enjoy them too. He’s even made one or two for us before, but mine are better. ;) This recipe probably wouldn’t have taken me so long to make except for my unexplainable aversion to making the crusts. Mini-quiches means individual crusts, and I wanted to make it myself, but for some reason I couldn’t wrap my head around how to do it correctly. And then I remembered myself, and figured I’d just wing it. It usually works out in the end anyhow.
I took inspiration from this recipe from Michelle at Dreaming of Winter for the filling, and pâte brisée from Elise at (of course) Simply Recipes. This was my first attempt at making a real pâte brisée and I’ll admit – I was nervous. We all know that the simplest recipes are the ones that evade us easily, but this really was as simple as Elise wrote it out to be. Ingredients in the fo-pro, pulse to combine, add water, pulse pulse pulse – then shape and refrigerate to do with what you will later. Even unbaked it was tasty; baked, even better. I ended up chilling the dough three times – once when first formed, then again after cutting the dough and shaping again into tinier disks to roll out for individual crusts, and again while making the filling. If I were you, and you take this recipe to heart, then just roll out the large disk and use a jumbo cutter to get your baby crusts out of it. Much simpler, and you’ll get to keep the leftover dough for whatever you like.
Mini Spinach Quiches
6-7 large eggs
½ cup whipping cream, half-and-half or milk*
½ cup shredded mozzarella, Parmesan or cheese of choice*
1 cup spinach*
1 medium yellow onion, sliced fine
salt and pepper to taste
Grease cupcake tins with Baker’s Joy or butter. Prepare the pâte brisée and mold into tins; refrigerate while filling is prepared. Slice onion finely and sauté in a dry pan on med-low heat until soft and browned; remove from heat and set aside. Steam the spinach however you choose – I added water to the hot pan and wilted it, then set it aside. Combine eggs, cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg and beat until thoroughly combined, then mix in onion. Remove crusts from refrigerator and sprinkle shredded cheese on the bottom, layer with egg mixture and top with spinach. Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes, remove from oven and let cool 2-3 minutes in pan on wire rack. Remove carefully and enjoy! Or refrigerate to eat later, of course.
These little babies were well-received by the intended, and myself too. I was pretty impressed with myself, if I do say so.
French Silk pie post will be next upcoming, as soon as I can get the pictures from his iPhone (since I am without camera and the iPhone takes the best pictures of everything in the house).